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After last week’s tl;dr bonanza, I soon delved back into my research, trying to find inspiration to prepare for an actual ranking post. I soon remembered that I’ve made several lists in my own tenacious past and began to frolic through my archive. And let me tell you, I have found such valuable insights to draw upon. For instance, a top 10 list for Tentacle Porn. And while I won’t ruin the surprise, I’ll give you a hint: the first place finisher’s DVD cover looks likes the poster for Anaconda 3: The Offspring, starring David Hasselholf. Oddly enough, he’s on both covers. I’ve also made a list for ‘Best Things to Do on a First Date’. Just for pointers, the best thing to do is be charming by bringing out unique and powerful one liners. This one’s a freebie; maybe start the night by stating how you would love to ‘Rufio’ her lost boys to ‘Bangerang’ all night long — remember to yell ‘Rufio,’ with emphasis on the ee-oh. Coincidently, that action also places first on my ‘Worst Things to Do on a First Date’ list, most likely due to the fact that a restraining order and Law Enforcement involvement depend on whether or not she’s seen Hook after the age of six. It’s okay, really. I know that my writing style equates to something like tapping your foot to a nice tune when all of a sudden someone stops the music and says, “You know who wrote this song? Hitler.” But hey, we’re in this together.

Just to reiterate, this post (like Part I) will contain names that you might not expect, or in different placements. That’s because we’re doing things deep league style, with extra sauce. And while there are many different formats and scoring systems for deep leagues, there are some constants we can base a formula on. All deep leagues have some sort of dynasty mechanism, which favors younger and/or cost-controlled players. Along with that aspect, you’ll have a robust MiLB system, usually with drafts and escalating long-term contracts that attach to those players once activated. And last, but not least, you are most likely dealing with leagues that have anywhere from 15 to 30 teams, NL-only, AL-only, more advanced scoring categories (OBP, SLG, TB, etc.) and you can even add simulation leagues like Box and Strato-matic into the mix. We basically have to smash all those things into one ranking sandwich, and then add your usual facets; 2012 production, lettuce, 2013 potential production, tomato, injury risk, past performance, bacon, positional scarcity, etc… So if you find yourself wondering what I was smoking when I made this list, just remember the sandwich I am making and putting in your mouth is going to be delicious to the extreme.

15. Matt Wieters and Buster Posey – Okay, okay, I cheated a little here by having two guys share one spot. If it makes you feel better, put one at sixteen and one at fifteen, makes no difference which to me. While they aren’t alike as baseball players, they are alike in fantasy baseball. They didn’t really have a smooth start to their careers; the former has taken a tad bit longer to develop, and the latter used his leg as a toll booth, of which said toll booth exploded. But both are young hot commodities in any dynasty format because of the offensive repertoire offered. While Wieters has had a large dry spell the last couple of months, the tease of 270/340/460 as a consistent stat line is enough for me to still buy. Long term, I think both of these guys are a coin flip, but for this year only, Posey has picked off where he left off from his rookie campaign. Hitting 315/379/498 so far, you can expect a similar line for quite a while. With positional scarcity and potentially long-term control of these youthful assets, your team won’t have to worry about drafting the likes of Miguel Olivo or John Buck, which is usually the sign of impending stigmata.

14. Felix Hernandez – The King has been a mainstay for quite a long time. While his velocity has dipped a bit this year (94.4 in 2010, 93.4 in 2011, and down to 92.1 so far during this season), he’s still an elite pitcher to own. Hernandez amazingly has found a way to up his K/9 from 8.55 in 2011 to 8.94 while lowering his BB/9 and HR/9 from 2.58 and 0.73 down to 2.37 and 0.61, respectively. And still only at the age of 26, you likely had to pay a hefty price for his services, but because of his ability, you also locked him down with multiple years. Ride the wave until you can’t, because he’s proven this year to still be effective even without that lock-down fastball.

13. Josh Hamilton – Most likely one of the most frustratingly talented players you can own in the fantasy realm, it’s almost always a foregone conclusion that he can miss up to 250 AB’s a year, yet still put up very good numbers to the tune of 300/360/550. And in stretches, he even has the ability to carry your team weeks at a time. While his bat is expensive, and the hardnosed play style and history of injuries isn’t a good thing to own, the offensive output is just too potent to ignore.

12. Clayton Kershaw – Now that he’s cut his BB/9 from 4.79 down to 2.44 the last three years, Kershaw will be a mainstay fantasy ace for years to come. Young, dominant, career 3.04 FIP… enough said.

11. Matt Kemp – The injury bug has hit him a bit this year, and I don’t quite think last year’s 324/399/586 should be considered commonplace, but I do believe that his BB% improvement from 7.9 in 2010, to 10.7 in 2011, all the way up to 11.2 in limited action this year, is real. Any player who is as young and able to throw up a 30-30 has to be ranked high. If he can somehow stay healthy next year and the year after and provide close to a 300/400/600 slash with 30 SB’s, you have to consider him a top-3, maybe even a top-1, fantasy producer.

10. Justin Verlander – A career 94.9 fastball velocity, 3.07 FIP, and 8.33 K/9, his stats simply speak for themselves. While 2008 seemed like a blip in the radar when many blamed the off year on misuse, more specifically, overuse by Jim Leyland, he has shown no warning signs since. Throwing at least 200 innings every year since 2007, you have never had a more consistent ace.

9. Jose Bautista – I’m surely a bit biased with the ranking here, but I just can’t help it. Joey Bats is one of my favorite players. Never have I seen so much raw power, I mean, this guy has hit home runs one handed. Every time he hits a home run, it’s like his bat is Mel Gibson and the ball is Jewish. 124 HR’s the last the last three years, his value is pumped up even more in OBP leagues. Consider him to be a constant source of 260/380/600 for the next couple of years.

8. Miguel Cabrera – Pretty much the batter version of Justin Verlander, Cabrera is a top-3 player in re-draft leagues. If you want 300/420/590 on long term basis, Miggy is your man.

7. Stephen Strasburg – While a dark cloud remains due to injury and this year’s inning cap, his potential ceiling and long term control are just simply too great to ignore. Already one of the top pitchers in both leagues, all of his deep league appeal puts him as the top pitcher to own. So far this year, he’s put up an elite K/9 of 11.58 with a low BB/9 of 2.45 and a FIP of 2.53. And this is his first season back since tearing his collateral ligament and undergoing Tommy John surgery. Makes me giggle.

6. Giancarlo Stanton – Simply put, he’s the younger version of Joey Bats. These two guys might be ranked a little high, but there is a certain mystique in owning them. I have yet to find either one easy to acquire, and I think it might be because chicks and the rest of the human race still dig the long ball. 290/370/600 is his ceiling, and that is a mighty fine ceiling to have.

5. Joey Votto – Overtaking Pujols as the the best 1B and continuing the productivity this year has Votto on track to be a top-5 player in any format for perhaps the next five years, if not more. Expect 330/430/590 as a baseline for that time period.

4. Ryan Braun – A long time 300/380/580 producer with an added bonus of 20-25 SB’s and Grey’s numero uno rated player for this year, I wouldn’t expect any drop-off for a long time. But his herpes are another story. I would be hard-pressed to find another player to move Braun back. The only case I can make is if Kemp were healthy and putting up the same numbers prorated to 400 AB’s. But I can’t, so I won’t, so there. Herpes!

3. Bryce Harper – If you were to ask me why Harper would be ranked this high, I would tell you that was a clown question, bro. While his 265/338/435 isn’t quite what he’s capable of, I’m not going to knock a kid at the age of 19. And I doubt any of you will either. We all know the hype, and we all know the name. Simply put, he is the most valuable commodity in any dynasty format, even more so then the next two names. But I can’t put him there just yet. Why? Because that’s thinking with my heart, not my brain. And my brain says that I’m hungry. Also that even though Harper will one day go bonkers with a yearly 300/380/630 slash with 20 steals, we ain’t there yet. This year counts too, which brings us to our next player.

2. Mike Trout – Trout has made the Angels look smart and dumb at the same time. An amazing find in the draft, he was almost overshadowed by one of the worst trades in the history of the game. Of course, there were a lot of things to pick on in the Vernon Wells acquisition, but perhaps the most frustrating aspect as of now was the extra 200 AB’s the we’ve lost from this, Trout’s historic rookie campaign. Projected to a full season, his numbers look something like 350/30/100/125/60. And guess what? If you drafted him this year, last year, or the year before, you have him at a balls-tingling cost and long-term control. While he may never be better than this, even a step down to a more rational 300/20/75/100/50 would still put him in this spot next year, or even to the number one spot.

1. Andrew McCutchen – Is it any surprise the Dread Pirate is number one? While Mike Trout is really close behind, McCutchen is just putting up an insane year with a slash of 369/425/633 and adding 14 SB’s. Most likely the NL MVP, his numbers look sustainable for quite a while. He epitomizes the combination of youth, long-term and potential cost control, and an amazing ability in all offensive categories. Strangely, that is also the descriptor I use for my personality. While, over time, his spot may switch with Trout, and maybe even Kemp, for right now, Andrew McCutchen is your number one Deep League Fantasy Asset.

So what do you guys think? Do you have your own top 15? Share them with me. Don’t agree with my love advice? Too bad, go dateless! But don’t be shy, tell me why I’m wrong and who I forgot if you’d like. Even bring the hate if you want. But remember, as a great man once said, you gotta pay the troll toll if you want to get in this boy’s hole.

34 Responses

  1. pubscout says:
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    Reddick or Rios? Thanks.

    • Jay

      jaywrong says:
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      @pubscout, Reddick for power, Rios for speed.

  2. MJ says:
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    Miggy Cabrera is #1 bar none! You want to argue that McCutch or Trout belong ahead of him due to youth, fine. But Votto, Braun, Stanton, Strasburg, and Harper?! No way!

    • Jay

      jaywrong says:
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      @MJ, I’m a Miggy lover, no doubt. But when you factor in years of control, cost of that control, and like you mentioned, age, then there are some guys I would like to have more. No knock on him at all though, especially with the added 3B eligibility.

  3. Mike says:
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    Would u trade Craig or freese and either cook or wilhemsen for Strasburg?
    Too much for 6 starts?
    Thanks

    • Jay

      jaywrong says:
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      @Mike, depends how bad you need k’s. I’m not terribly sure they will shut him down, but skipped starts are a possibility. I’d do Cook for sure. I’d keep Wil unless you are okay with saves. I’d rather keep Freese and Craig.

  4. Pretty decent. Although Harper seems a little high for this draft of the list, I feel it is quite a fair order. Thanks!

    • Jay

      jaywrong says:
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      @MetalManic, thanks. And yes, I would tend to agree with you, but when I look at the trading blocks out there, Harper seems to the name I least see. Everyone has him in a GI Joe grip… that’s gotta count for something. But your point is a good one.

  5. Kershaw Shank Redemption says:
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    Hamilton has been a bum as of late, I shouldn’t complain seeing has he put up some players season totals in just the first half but do you see him heating up soon or should I deal him for some good value?

    • Jay

      jaywrong says:
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      @Kershaw Shank Redemption, Haha, love the shawshank shoutout. Yeah, I’d hold. I don’t like how he hasn’t adjusted to pitches outside the zone. But I think he has one more hot streak in him.

      • Kershaw Shank Redemption says:
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        @jaywrong, thanks I try to through out the witty names on occasion and if he goes through a hot streak would you try to sell at the end? depending on who i could get obviously but it is a 10×10 non keeper league if that changes your mind.

        • Jay

          jaywrong says:
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          @Kershaw Shank Redemption, Yeah, I mean, if you have a target and you need him, I’d say trade now if you can, since time is growing short. Especially in a redraft league.

  6. Miggytown says:
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    would you trade Encarnacion for Heyward right now for 5 more years of a keeper league?

    • Jay

      jaywrong says:
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      @Miggytown, Yes, I would. Even more so if OBP is a cat. Meow.

  7. BlinkULDHC says:
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    Pitcher A: Born 3/30/1989
    2012 stats: 124 IP, 12-3, 2.61 ERA 1.024 WHIP 8.3 K/9 3.68 K:BB, and hitters hitting .214/.270/.314 for .584 OPS
    Career: 218.1 IP, 2.60 ERA, 1.058 WHIP, 9.3 K/9, opponents hitting .207/.275/.314 for .589 OPS

    Pitcher B: Born 7/20/1988
    2012 stats: 117.1 IP, 11-4, 2.76 ERA, 1.116 WHIP, 11.6 K/9, 4.72 K:BB and hitters hitting .229/.287/.349 for .635 OPS
    Career: 209.1 IP, 2.67 ERA, 1.056 WHIP, 11.5 K/9, 5.24 K:BB, hitters with .221/.271/.326 for .597 OPS

    Which player is unranked, and which one is ranked #7?

    • Jay

      jaywrong says:
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      @BlinkULDHC, I spoke of Chris Sale in Part I. While I’m not ready to put him here yet, he is on the cusp. You made a very fair point though.

  8. Saul T. Loade says:
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    WTF. Cano, CarGo, Justin Upton & Tulowitzki are no-brainers. Prince Fielder might even make the list. Weiters, Giancarlo & Posey take it the long way. Kershaw is definitely the best pitcher keeper. Josh Hamilton will be in rehab by 2014. Miggy should definitely be #1 and you’re a #2. Go back to rubbing against the pillow in your mommy’s basement. You’re better at that.

    • Jay

      jaywrong says:
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      @Saul T. Loade, Prince Fielder? No, I don’t think so. And when you factor in the potential salaries, years of control in a dynasty, age factor, positional scarcity, etc.,then your choices aren’t as valuable as you think they are. Justin Upton was discussed in Part I. You might be getting this list confused with a redraft list. Not the case. And I happen to like my pillow. So much in fact, it now has the texture of a potato chip.

      • Saul T. Loade says:
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        Whatever, pickle puss. You’re delusional if you think Cano, Tulo, Justin Upton, or CarGo don’t belong on a top-15 keeper list. And Prince Fielder is certainly a better keeper than either Weiters or Posey. This list is garbage. Go back to humping your pillow. Fantasy baseball isn’t your thing.

        • Jay

          jaywrong says:
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          @Saul T. Loade, ooo, I like pickles too. You sure know how to look right into my soul. Let us agree to disagree.

  9. Thrilla says:
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    How’s Harper more valuable than Trout in a dynasty league?

    Also, wouldn’t Jose Bautista be the best refined power you’ve seen, as opposed to raw power? When I think of raw power I think of Stanton, Trumbo, Reynolds, etc. Big guys with monstrous power that appears to come naturally. Bautista’s power seems to be a product of swinging ridiculously hard.

    No idea if that makes sense and I’m not trying to nit-pick. Nice read no doubt.

    • chunk says:
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      @Thrilla, Trout is ranked above (well, in this case below) Harper…

      • Thrilla says:
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        @chunk, True. I was referencing the

        “Simply put, [Harper] is the most valuable commodity in any dynasty format, even more so then the next two names.”

        • chunk says:
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          @Thrilla, Ahh, gotcha.

    • Jay

      jaywrong says:
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      @Thrilla, thanks. On Harper, the comments are based upon a consensus that while Trout is having the better year by far, most project Harper to have a better career. While myself and others could be wrong, Harper’s name is the gold standard in dynasties, and I place value on that. Rationally, Trout and McCutch are better assets, as you point out, but its also hard gauging the future value of these names. You could say I’m hedging my bets with both Trout and Harper’s placement, as I expect them to battle it out the next 5 years, min.

      • Thrilla says:
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        @jaywrong, I see your point, although I would never use the word ‘consensus’ that Harper projects to have a better career than Trout. Many opinions that I respect say Trout’s ceiling is higher. Both seem to be generational-type talents and it’s terrifyingly awesome that neither guy is close to being physically mature.

        I think for fantasy purposes you’re right, Harper’s unbelievable power potential probably does give him the nod by a hair. Right now I’m just infatuated with Trout’s ability to hit for average and power while being elite in the SBs category.

        • Jay

          jaywrong says:
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          @Thrilla, I too, am infatuated. Everything you state here is agreed upon on my side.

          It’s going to be fun 15 years watching both of them!

    • Jay

      jaywrong says:
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      @Thrilla, I forgot to mention, you make a good case for the ‘refined’ descriptor. I just love the word ‘raw’, though. Not as much as ‘furiosity’, but it’s close…

  10. Czernobog says:
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    So Kershaw could be the next Tim Lincecum?

    • Jay

      jaywrong says:
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      @Czernobog, well, I think any pitcher could turn into the next Lincecum. But the physical nature and added loss of velocity might have been a tipping point here.

  11. Pefacommish says:
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    Aroldys Chapman is putting up some sick, sick numbers and has the upside of turning into a starter. And if you want to go deeeeep, Billy Hamilton has the look of a once in a generation fantasy asset.

    • Jay

      jaywrong says:
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      @Pefacommish, I agree, which is why Chapman made it on my Part I post. Hamilton has some special speed, but I don’t think he sticks at SS which hurts his value to a degree. But still a mighty fine spec to have.

  12. kwadjo says:
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    I’m confused here. Why are these players listed in a “Deep Impact” post? I want to know about the next minor leaguer that could help my team. Or who the Marlins will be playing everyday after they they trade the rest of their starters. I’m not planning my 2013 draft now, I’m trying to figure out how to win a 2012 deep league. Nice list though, even if it is completely useless.

    • Jay

      jaywrong says:
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      @kwadjo, the post was for the allstar weekend, but just got way too long and I broke it into two parts. Have no fear, I will address your needs once again.

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